Thomas is an avid weather enthusiast, landscaper and organic gardener. This blog is dedicated to Northeast and tropical weather forecasting. Enjoy!
By: sullivanweather , 3:42 PM GMT on April 25, 2008
Blog 1: Planning the Garden
Blog 2: Cool season crops
In the first two blogs of the gardening series we have discussed planning the garden for organic growing and cool season crops. This blog in the garden series will delve into companion gardening. Over the years gardeners have discovered that certain plants, when grown together, augment each other's performance or help to repel pests such as insects and caterpillars. However, there are certain combinations of plants that hinder each other. This blog will help you select which crops should be planted with one another to maximize the performance of your organic garden.
Beans - Beans come in two types (excluding lima beans), bush and pole. Bush beans are what their name implies, growing pods on bushy plants while pole beans grow as twining vines and will need support from a trellis, fence, posts, or anything they could wrap their vines around. One of the 'three sisters', beans add many benefits to the garden, including another member of the 'three sisters' - corn. Beans add nitrogen to the soil which corn, a very heavy feeder, will find beneficial. Bush beans should be planted in rows in between corn while pole beans can actually twine around the corn stalks, using them as support. Beans also have shown to be of aid when planted with cabbage, cucumbers, summer savory and especially carrots. Beans dislikes include any member of the onion family. Pole beans also are hindered by kohlrabi and sunflowers. In an odd twist, beets and bush beans grow well together, however, beets will not grow well pole beans.
Beets - As mentioned above, beets will grow well with bush beans but not pole beans. Onions are also of benefit to beets, as well as lettuce and cabbage. Kohlrabi also is friendly to the beet plant for they both require the same growing conditions and take nutrients from different levels of the soil. In addition to pole beans, beets to not grow well with field mustard.
Broccoli - A member of the cabbage family that does well growing amongst aromatic plants such as dill, camomile, sage, peppermint and rosemary. Vegetables that perform well with broccoli include, potatoes, beets and onions. Broccoli dislikes tomatoes, pole beans and strawberries.
Cabbage - Cabbage covers a wide range of vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts. As discussed in the broccoli section, cabbage finds mutual benefit from a variety of aromatic herbs and vegetables which helps to repel pests such as the white cabbage butterfly. Cabbage is a heavy feeder and lots of compost should be worked into the soil before planting cabbage along with regular bouts of compost added into the top layer of soil or appropriate amounts of organic fertilizer. Cabbage dislikes pole beans, tomatoes and strawberries, so try to avoid planting them together.
Carrots - Carrots do best when planted along side tomatoes. Both crops serve as mutual benefit to one another by helping to add nutrients to the soil to help each other grow as well as tomatoes help to shade carrots from the heat of summer. Long bouts of hot weather will cause carrots to lose their sweetness and crispness. Carrots, when planted in summer under tomatoes for the fall, will survive the first several frosts and freezes being a cold tolerant plant. So once the tomatoes are killed off by frost they will have the benefit of full sun late in the season. Carrots enjoy the company of onions, leeks and herbs such as rosemary or wormwood which repels the carrot fly whose larvae attacks the young rootlets of carrots.
Cauliflower - Celery when planted amongst cauliflower will repel the white cabbage butterfly. For all other cauliflower info see cabbage
Celery - Celery grows well with leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower and cabbage. Remember that cauliflower and cabbage do not grow well together, so when planting the celery amongst tomatoes and cabbage/cauliflower make sure to put the celery in between those plants. Celery should be planted in a trench as opposed to a hill or row and could be planted in a circle so that the roots make a bed for beneficial garden dwellers such as earthworms.
Collards - Collards do well planted with tomatoes due to the propensity for tomatoes to repel the flea beetle the number one pest of collards. For all other information on collards see cabbage
Corn - Corn grows well amongst a wide variety of vegetables including, potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. Squash varieties of crops gain benefit from the shade the stalks provide during hot summer days. Peas and beans grown with corn add nitrogen to the soil which is used by the corn, which are extremely heavy feeders. Tomatoes should not be planted with corn due to a common pest - the tomato fruitworm or the corn earworm. Cucumbers, pumpkins and squash planted around corn will help to deter raccoons, which find those plants offensive.
Cucumber - Cucumbers grow well with beans, peas and radishes. The beans add nitrogen to the soil which cucumbers will feed off of. The radishes repel cucumber beetles which are a very voracious pests that will decimate young cucumber plants. Sunflowers may also be grown with cucumbers as they will shade the plants preventing them from wilting during hot dry summer days. Cucumbers dislike potatoes and should be grown far apart in the garden due to a blight that cucumbers develop via the potato plant. Cucumbers also dislike aromatic herbs.
Eggplant - Eggplants are a delicacy of many pests which could very quickly eat their way through the leaves of the plant leaving them unable to photosynthesize, eventually killing the plant. Leaf hopper beetles and Colorado potato beetles are the main pests that will decimate the eggplant. Bush beans help to repel the potato beetle, while a hot pepper and garlic spray can be used to help repel other pests. To make the hot pepper spray, crush hot peppers and garlic cloves together and set inside water. After 24 hours strain and add enough water to make a spray that will be sufficient to mist your plants with an initial spray, after rainfalls or whenever pests arise. Use the strained peppers and garlic to add to the soil around the base of the plants which aids in pest prevention as well.
Kale - A member of the cabbage family, kale seeds can be sowed following the harvest of spring peas and beans and can be grown amongst cabbage or potatoes. For other information see cabbage
Kohlrabi - Grows best with onions and beets as well as aromatic herbs. Kohlrabi can also be grown with cucumbers for their roots occupy differing soil strata. Kohlrabi is also a heavy feeder, requiring lots of water and compost and will benefit from filtered sunlight. Kohlrabi dislikes tomatoes, pole beans and strawberries.
Leeks - Leeks grow well amongst celery and onions and share a mutual benefit with carrots, which repel the carrot flies that attack them. Leeks are heavy feeders and should be planted in a bed rich in humus and compost.
Lettuce - Lettuce grows well with strawberries, cucumbers and carrots. Radishes planted amongst lettuce make them especially flavourful. Since radish repel cucumber beetles a section of garden containing cucumbers, radish and lettuce are an unbeatable combination. Since lettuce is a cool season crop they will require shade during the height of hot summer afternoons. Onions grown alongside lettuce will help to control rabbits, if rabbits are a problem in your area.
Onions - The onion family, which includes chives, shallots, leeks and garlic, is a great companion for many common garden crops due to their aromatic properties and their inability to rob the soil of its nutrients. They grow well with all members of the cabbage family, beets, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and summer savory. Just about the only plants onions don't get along with are peas and beans.
Peas - This legume performs great in most gardens due to the shallowness of its roots and the fact that they don't need much soil amendment, although wood ashes help greatly in controlling aphids which can be a pest of peas. Peas grow well with a wide range in crops including carrots, radishes, cucumbers, turnips, potatoes, beans and corn as well as many aromatic herbs. However, they are detrimental to the onion family.
Peppers - Sweet bell peppers grow well with basil and need to be stakes or caged for their stems are quite fragile and can be broken by their heavy fruit. Hot peppers have little known pests, although some moth and butterfly larvae may attack a few of the fruits. Usually the plants produce enough fruits to lessen this issue. Hot peppers and sweet peppers should not be planted together as your sweet peppers will not be as sweet as originally planned.
Pumpkins - Although most pumpkins are grown for jack-o-lanterns come Halloween, pumpkins are a nutritious high yield squash that can be used as a side dish or in pies. Pumpkins grow quite well with corn and dislike potatoes.
Radish - Radishes can be a gardeners best friend if you particularly like cucumbers or any member of the Cucurbit family. Radishes protect these plants from the cucumber beetle which can decimate cucumber and cucurbit family crops which include the melons, pumpkins and squash. Radishes also prevent the two-spotted spider mite when grown with tomatoes. Radishes also grow well with kohlrabi, pole and bush beans. Lettuce makes radishes more tender while garlic juice prevents disease. Radishes do not grow well with hyssop and should not be rotated with members of the cabbage family.
Squash - These members of the cucurbit family will find benefit when planted with radish for they deter cucumber beetle infestations. Squashes will also find benefit from being planted next to nasturtiums.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes and hot peppers are perhaps the most widely studied plants and much is known about them. Tomatoes grow well with chives, parsley, onions, basil, marigolds, nasturtiums and carrots. Garlic will prevent red spider mite infestations while stinging nettle will improve their keeping quality. Tomatoes should not be planted next to peppers, members of the cabbage family, potatoes or fennel. Tomatoes should also be kept away from corn due to a common pest - the tomato fruitworm. Crushed tomatoes leaves along with water and a spoonful of cornstarch then strained will make for a fungicidal spray against black spot on roses. Smokers beware! Tobacco contains diseases that tomatoes are susceptible to, so wash your hands before handling tomatoes if you smoke.
Soil moisture 0-200cm
Soil temperature 0-10cm
Soil temperature 10-40cm
Kelvin temperature scale
273.15°K = 0°C
Current watches, warnings and advisories.
Synopsis - Issued 4/25 11:40am
A deep-layer ridge exists along the east coast of North America as a cut-off low pressure spins over the Western Atlantic and a deep trough digs into the Midwest in a highly meridional flow. Several waves of low pressure will ride out of the Plains into the Great Lakes region, gradually breaking down this ridge over the next 3-4 days, bringing an end to this stretch of unseasonably warm and dry April weather experienced over the previous 2 weeks in the Northeast. This warm and dry stretch of weather has led to the development of several brush fires as well as the start of the growing season a couple weeks early across many areas of the Northeast.
Short-term - Issued 4/25 11:40am
Unsettled weather will begin to impact the western half of the region later this afternoon as showers and thunderstorms, aided by a weak mid-level disturbance, develop along a warm frontal boundary that will stall over Pennsylvania and New Jersey as the deep southerly flow pushing ahead of the Midwestern trough weakens. These showers will weaken after losing daytime heating this evening into the overnight and dive southeasterly, becoming incorporated into the circulation around the cut-off low offshore. Further northeast on the lee side of the ridge axis clouds will be sparse in dry northwesterly flow out of Canada.
Mid-term - Issued 4/25 11:40am
Pre-frontal trough will move into the western half of the region tomorrow bringing a renewed chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. 850mb temps warm to 10-13°C over the western half of the region so any breaks in the cloud cover will quickly warm temperatures and destabilize the atmosphere. Over the eastern half of the region there will be a slight increase in high level clouds, but it should be a rather pleasant day over New England. Temperatures will be 5-15 degrees above normal once again. By late Saturday afternoon into the evening the actual cold front will punch into the region with a linear development of showers and thunderstorms likely. Projected CAPE values will be modest, on the order of 500-1,000J/kg, winds aloft are light and any storms that do develop look to be progressive, so severe weather/flash flooding is unlikely. There is a chance for small hail with some of the stronger storms as freezing levels fall below 10,000 feet. As this line of thundershowers pushes into New England it will weaken as it runs into the ridge axis becoming nearly non-existent by Sunday morning. The second half of this weekend should be rather pleasant as the cold front washes out in the ridge axis as it heads offshore. A weak onshore flow along the coastal areas may make for a shallow marine layer which could hold temperatures down and keep cloud cover over these areas. Otherwise skies will be mostly sunny over the region. 850mb temperatures will range from 6-8°C area-wide making for temperatures several degrees above normal once again.
Long-term - Issued 4/25 11:40am
The next storm system will bring a pattern change to the Northeast as it develops over the Mid-Mississippi Valley region during the day on Sunday and quickly moves into the Great Lakes region Sunday night. The upper trough associated with the development of this storm system will take on a negative tilt as the storm pulls into Southern Canada Monday morning, tapping into a very cold pocket of air that will drive into the Northeast bringing an abrupt end to the above normal temperatures. Showers will develop out ahead of this storm system late Sunday night over the western half of the region, increasing in coverage and intensity during the day on Monday. As the sharp cold front pushes into the region on Monday convection will develop along it which could tap into some strong winds aloft (60kts @ 850mb level) bringing damaging wind gusts down to the surface. Behind the front much chillier air will move into the region which could bring snow showers to the higher terrain of the Adirondacks as early as Monday night. The front will continue northeastward into New England on Tuesday keeping rain chances going there cloudy skies over the remain of the region. With the cold pool aloft and strong late April sun, afternoon instability showers will develop, some of which may contain some graupel. Upper level low cuts-off over the region keeping clouds and showers in the forecast through Thursday. Higher terrain locations during the overnight may see snow showers mix in at times. By Friday temperatures will gradually improve as upper low looks to retrograde towards the Great Lakes region, however chances for precipitation will remain as another trough will approach from the west.
Radar: Northeast Region Loop
Current Northeast Snowcover
Current SST's off the Northeast Coast.
Great Lakes SST's as of 04/15/2008.
Fillipini's Pond conditions (Lake across street)
11/11: 33°F - 1st morning with grease ice on lake.
11/24: 32°F - patchy ice on lake this morning
11/25: 32°F - lake iced over completely, melting along the shores during the afternoon.
12/1: Patchy ice has been on the lake all week. Lake should freeeze over completely tonight.
12/3: Lake is frozen over and covered with snow.
4/4: Lake is beginning to thaw from the shores inward
4/6: Lake is now completely unfrozen.
April Daily Weather Statistics
April 1st - 64°F/41°F....0.46"...25%...0.0"...(>1")
April 2nd - 41°F/27°F....0.01"...90%...0.1"...(>1")
April 3rd - 48°F/16°F....0.00"...80%...0.0"...(>1")
April 4th - 41°F/31°F....0.67"...0%....1.8"...(2")
April 5th - 46°F/37°F....0.08"...30%...0.0"...(>1")
April 6th - 46°F/36°F....0.00"...20%...0.0"...(Trace)
April 7th - 49°F/34°F....0.01"...30%...0.0"...(Trace)
April 8th - 59°F/29°F....0.00"...50%...0.0"...(0")
April 9th - 61°F/31°F....0.00"...90%...0.0"...(0")
April 10th - 64°F/43°F...0.00"...100%..0.0"...(0")
April 11th - 55°F/43°F...0.32"...5%....0.0"...(0")
April 12th - 70°F/42°F...0.44"...70%...0.0"...(0")
April 13th - 46°F/32°F...0.00"...30%...0.0"...(0")
April 14th - 49°F/27°F...0.00"...50%...0.0"...(0")
April 15th - 55°F/26°F...0.00"...95%...0.0"...(0")
April 16th - 65°F/25°F...0.00"..100%...0.0"...(0")
April 17th - 75°F/31°F...0.00"..100%...0.0"...(0")
April 18th - 83°F/40°F...0.00"..100%...0.0"...(0")
April 19th - 81°F/48°F...0.00"...95%...0.0"...(0")
April 20th - 61°F/47°F...0.00"...10%...0.0"...(0")
April 21st - 70°F/45°F...0.00"...95%...0.0"...(0")
April 22nd - 72°F/38°F...0.00"...90%...0.0"...(0")
April 23rd - 75°F/44°F...0.04"...80%...0.0"...(0")
April 24th - 71°F/46°F...Trace...90%...0.0"...(0")
April 25th - 74°F/39°F...0.00"...60%...0.0"...(0")
April 26th - 64°F/52°F...0.09"...40%...0.0"...(0")
April 27th - 63°F/45°F...0.06"...20%...0.0"...(0")
April 28th - 50°F/42°F...1.19"....0%...0.0"...(0")
April 29th - 48°F/36°F...0.08"...40%...0.0"...(0")
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